Del Potro sets up quarter-final showdown with Nadal

13 July, 2018, 12:41 | Author: Isabel Grant
  • Juan Martin del Potro was made to work hard for his win against Gilles Simon

"I think it was great quality tennis, the final set was there were some wonderful points".

Beyond dispute, Anderson's ultimate performance and recovery on this occasion was the antithesis of a choker, prompting the unequivocal praise from the usually deceptive and masterly Federer himself that "I could not fool him - he seemed to know what shots I was manufacturing and planning - and that was not a good feeling".

Nadal lost only eight points behind his serve in the opening set, but Del Potro needed only one break point to take a 5-4 lead in the second. They hugged, and walked towards the umpire's chair together, their arms around each other.

A sprightly Nadal went on the front foot to turn the tide in the fourth, Del Potro twice hitting the deck as he was broken to love to trail 3-2 and while he saved two set points behind his powerful serve, the 11-time French Open champion was jumping for joy after a searing backhand victor made sure the match would go all the way.

The two-time victor will meet Novak Djokovic in the last four on Friday.

Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, will now face three-time victor Djokovic for the 52nd time with the Serb holding a 26-25 edge. Djokovic, a 12-time major champ whose resume includes three trophies at the All England Club, advanced earlier Wednesday with a four-set victory over Kei Nishikori that didn't require almost as much energy or effort as what followed on Centre Court.

Nadal could have gone up two sets to none after leading 6-3 in the tiebreaker.

"In the last set there was a little of everything, great points, great rallies, he was hitting insane with his forehands".

The last time the pair met in a Grand Slam was in the quarter final of the French Open in 2015, when Djokovic won in three sets.

More news: Full Quarter-Finals Results and Semi-Finals Schedule

Add in Nadal, 32, and Djokovic, 31, and it's the first time in the half-century of professional tennis that all four male semifinalists at any Slam are in their 30s.

It was such a tense affair, particularly the 71-minute deciding set, that when it was all over, Del Potro lay on the ground, face down, and only got up when he saw Nadal standing over him.

Nadal was told about Murray's assessment of the fifth set, and was asked if he is able to enjoy a set like that, while he's battling through it. He stepped on the short wall and landed in the lap of a female spectator.

Nadal saved a break point at 2-2, then took the lead courtesy of a strong backhand.

That never really felt like much of a cushion, though.

Victory secured, Nadal climbed over the net and ran over to the baseline to help the distraught Del Potro back to his feet.

Del Potro put both hands on his head.

"It's feels great to be in the last four of a slam", the 12-time major victor said.

"Of course I'm sorry for Juan Martin". The powerful Argentinian has won five of his 15 matches against Nadal but lost to the world number one at two of the last three slams.

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